“Swirling Reflections” by Robin Conover
Canon F-1, 70-200 mm 2.8 L series lens mounted on a Bogen tripod, Velvia slide film 50 ASA.
ISO 100, ƒ10 at 1/10 sec.
Nature provides a palette of color each fall that’s like no other. The process begins as the days grow shorter and the nights longer. You can feel it in the air as weather patterns change, bringing much cooler temperatures and crisp, sunny days.
Every animal and plant responds to the shifting season by preparing for the coming winter months. Flora across Tennessee begins the transition from a landscape of a thousand shades of green to a patchwork of brilliant splotches of color.
Tennessee is truly blessed to have four distinct seasons, and fall is my favorite. The landscape takes on its refreshing new look — brilliant reds, oranges and yellows mixing with greens and browns.
Some years are better than others for fall color as several factors affect the process. Longer nights and cooler temperatures signal trees to slow and then cease production of chlorophyl, which, of course, is responsible for making leaves green. As chlorophyl dissipates, the carotenoids and anthocyanins, which create nature’s pigments, are revealed with bright sunny days.
Prime fall color for leaf-watchers will begin in mid-October in the upper elevations and move across the state through mid-November. Beautiful vistas can be found throughout Tennessee — from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Cumberland Plateau, the Highland Rim and throughout the Mississippi Gulf Coastal Plain.
As I photograph fall, I include landscapes that show off the tapestry of hillsides, closeups of color and patterns in leaves. But some of my favorite images come from reflections as rivers and streams show off their natural “watercolors.”
I could watch nature’s show for hours as direct sunlight on hillsides above creates rich reflections on the water’s surface. Capturing the movement of the river with a slower shutter speed allows nature to “paint” in the colors of the image.
Please join me by lacing up your boots and taking a hike. Fall never disappoints!